The Review Haiku
Greet known faces while
Untold tragedies surface
Bring me the sequel
The Enchanter’s Heir represents a return to the Heir Chronicles, a series I had thought finished, since Chima Williams started the Seven Realms series. The nature of her other beings, being slightly more character focused than plot focused lets the sequel sit easy. By now we’re used to new character introductions, so Jonah is no surprise, and neither is Emma.
The Enchanter’s Heir adds new events to the magical world, mainly the Brazilian Thorn Hill Massacre in which someone, no one has any idea who, poisoned (maybe) commune’s water supply (supposedly). The contamination resulted in the death of every adult on the compound and the mutation of all the children on the compound; think flaming seizures and hands of death, punctuated by poor health. Flash 10 or so years later to the outskirts of familiar old Trinity where the survivors now make their home in a special school dedicated to their care.
Our MC Jonah works with the other survivors to keep the world safe from the other outcome of the incident: shades of the people who died in the incident who need to possess human corpses to find a measure of happiness. How the shades got to Maine all the way from Brazil I have no idea, but they’re there. He runs into Emma, a girl who has survived the incident and perhaps the only one who doesn’t suffer any ill effects for it.
The Enchanter’s Heir walks a fine line between romance you’re used to finding in YA and breaking the pattern. For anyone who has read the rest of the Heir Chronicles you get glimpses of your good old friends, Seph, Jack, Ellen, Madison and Leesha. They’re running around, doing their best to corral the rest of the magical world into some semblance of order (I’d say they’d have better luck herding cats, but more power to them). It’s great to see them wandering around, but our main focus is both Jonah and Emma.
Out of the two, Emma is the more likeable one, though whether that is by design or just personal preference, I can’t honestly say. Emma has been through a lot, but she’s positive and focused on living her life. You feel bad that she is being sucked into the ugly magical world.
Jonah tends to be a bit self-pitying. Granted it is not for no reason, but, in some ways that remind me of Jace Herondale, he seems to have convinced himself that he is not deserving of any happiness. He isn’t always given stellar choices either.
So, what makes this series special? After four books I’ve noticed running theme throughout the books that you’re unlikely to find in other series. Here it goes: All of the Heir characters either A discover magic later in their lives or B were transformed by magic later in their lives, but honestly, magic has not enriched their lives. Magic is not a thing of beauty or something you wish you had. Characters, when they discover their magical routes, are basically press-ganged into ancient conflicts that they want almost nothing to do with. There is very little beauty to the magical world or even the magic itself which is rarely shown to work for good. If someone asked me if I wanted into their magical community my answer would be resounding not-on-my-muggle-life-you-crazypants-crackpot or something to that effect. I have a feeling most of the characters would agree with me too.
Be prepared, Enchanter’s Heir reads like a setup for the next book, something I’m not used to seeing in Chima’s other work, and for that reason it didn’t read as well as the other Heir Chronicle books.
The Enchanter’s Heir walks a fine line between romance you’re used to finding in YA and breaking the pattern. We still have heroines falling for the characters they shouldn’t, and descriptions of emanating hotness in inopportune places, but, in the scheme of things, these things are kept to a minimal.
All in all, a nice return to a solid series and lucky for us, Sorcerer’s Heir is out this fall.